A beef with food vendors at the Earth Day rally
By Sumeet Kaur Monk
I was at the climate change rally at the Mall on Sunday [“Earth Day’s moment in the sun,” Style, April 26], and the only food vendors I could find served hot dogs, pulled pork and chicken tenders. I am surprised that hungry, enviro-vegetarian activists did not rise up in protest. These food options are directly linked to some of the most serious environmental problems of our day. So many of us went along in a silent hunger protest for the day, or, as in my case, guiltily broke fast with some greasy french fries.
Much of what is discussed in the climate talks, such as coal-fired electric power plants or offshore oil drilling, feels too large and outside the realm of our choice. We all need electricity in our homes, and we all need gas in our cars — those are basics of life that we are tied to until alternatives become affordable and conveniently available.
How we can make a choice — an easy, cheaper, more convenient choice — is to reduce our consumption of meat. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, if every American ate a vegetarian dinner instead of chicken once a week, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than a half-million cars off the roads.
The animal industry pollutes the land, air and water; creates water shortages; devastates forests; uses too many chemicals; and reduces biodiversity, not to mention treating animals inhumanely. It’s a pretty simple message: Eat less meat. It helps saves the environment. For next year’s Earth Day events, unless they have some different food vendors, I’m packing my own lunch.
| April 29, 2010; 10:25 AM ET
Categories: D.C., National Mall
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